Shellfish Department

Constable David W Grunden

Herring Warden

Marine Biologist



Office: Robert E Rose Town Garage, 347 County Road, Oak Bluffs

Telephone: (508) 693-0072

Fax: (508) 696-6472

Cell: (508) 958-5410


Deputy Constable Jason Mallory


For ALL shellfish license inquiries, please contact Shelley Carter at the Town Hall, 56 School Street, (508) 693-3554 x115




October 2013 Report

Early scallop season has been poor. A couple of boats tried outside the ponds and did not come in with much. The dip netters did not do much better in Sengekontacket Pond this past weekend.

All the nursery rafts have been brought in, unloaded and the seed has been planted out. The upweller has been shut down for the season and the last of the soft-shells have also been seeded out. We still have most of the second Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group scallop spawning to seed out. Most of these will be planted in Lagoon Pond but some will go to Sengekontacket pond

All the crab traps will be brought in before scallop season begins in Lagoon Pond.

Tisbury Shellfish will again assist us in setting additional town line buoys in Lagoon Pond before scallop season is opened in that pond.

The marine extension agents (Maryland to Maine) are working on an Aquaculture Hazard Analysis Manual to help prospective farmers as well as more experienced farmers to diagnose problems that may develop at their farm. The manual will cover shellfish, finfish and sea vegetables (seaweeds). This project is funded by Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center. I participated in a focus group/critique of the shellfish portion at Roger Williams University the end of last month. This selected group came up with several recommendations that will be incorporated into the manual. Of note, I was the only representative from Massachusetts in this selective group, though others from the State have contributed significantly to the manual’s development.

The New York Avenue storm water mitigation project is finally coming to fruition! This is a project that has had a long and arduous path. The project will divert storm water from the 16 inch main under the road into an oil grit separator to be placed under ground in the Sunset Lake Park. The separator will trap sediment and petroleum products from the storm water. After the water is treated in this manner it will be sent back to the main and continue to the harbor without the trapped pollutants.100% of the funding is through the Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah.

The drawbridge replacement project is ramping up for the work with an anticipated November 4 start date. I have an onsite meeting with the Middlesex Company project manager and the environmental consultants they have hired on the 23rd of this month.

The little bridge channel maintenance project is currently out and requesting written quotes. The job will include removing about 6,500 cu. Yds. From the channel, trucking to pay beach and spreading the sand. The deadline for quote submittal is October 18th. Depending on where the quotes are we will either award the job or be required to send it back out for a more formal sealed bid process.

There is a push to adopt fertilizer regulations that would limit the amount at fertilizer used on lawns. Nantucket has been able to get this type of regulations enacted. Both the Cape Cod Commission and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission are assisting towns to write and adopt fertilizer regulations. The goal here is to develop uniform regulations for all 6 island towns. The regulations would be adopted and enforced by the local boards of health. A public hearing on these proposed regulations will be held sometime in November.

I have been instructed to place additional content and information on the shellfish page of the Town’s web-site. In addition to what has been being put on the page, I will include these monthly reports as well as the scientific publications I have achieved, links to the various pond association groups, and other websites that may be pertinent such as the Martha’s Vineyard Commission and Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group.

Respectfully submitted,



September 2013 Report


Juvenile scallops from the first Shellfish Group spawning have all been seeded out. We still have all the scallops from the second spawning. These will be the last of this year’s seeding.

We will start taking down the quahog nursery rafts the end of this week.

The mooring chain for the "town line" in Lagoon has been visually inspected (by a diver) and should be fine for now. It will need to be replaced sometime in the next couple of years.

I spent a week doing field work with the EPA/WHOI sea squirt/eelgrass project this month. The eelgrass meadows just inside of bridge in Lagoon Pond is the reference site. Stonewall Pond is the other pond that is being studied. The goal of this project is to better understand the impacts the sea squirts are having on the eelgrass meadows. In an earlier and smaller project we have documented that the eelgrass with sea squirts have a shorter blade height, fewer blades per shoot and slower growth rate. I am one of the principals on this project and we should have a published paper at the end of this project. I have kept most of my field involvement to Lagoon Pond. Surprisingly, the EPA divers reported that the eelgrass near the bridge is some of the healthiest in the state! One of the random samples equated to close to 1,000 shoots per square meter!

The Selectmen approved the recommended bay scallop season opening dates:

Recreational outside the ponds October 5

Commercial outside the ponds October 7

Recreational Sengekontacket October 12

Commercial Sengekontacket October 21

Recreational Lagoon November 2

Commercial Lagoon November 4

I am working on developing a written Request for Quote that meets the State procurement guidelines for the maintenance of the Little Bridge Channel. Once this is done it will be released and hopefully have a quick turnaround so that the work can start in a few weeks.

At the request of the Friends of Sengekontacket we used one of our boats as a escort for the Annual Oar and Paddle Regatta again this year. FOS supports our work in Sengekontacket Pond.

I have been invited by the Northeast Regional Aquaculture Center to evaluate and critique an "Aquaculture Hazards Training Workshop" that has been developed by them. The presentation of the workshop for review will be on September 30 at Roger Williams University. This is a very opportune time for this as we are reviewing our own aquaculture regulation and will be able to incorporate information in the revised regulations.

Respectively submitted,

David Grunden, Shellfish Constable


Office: Robert E Rose Highway Garage, 347 County Road, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557

Phone: 508-693-0072

Fax: 508-696-6472

Mailing address: PO Box 1327, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557


For shellfish licenses inquiries, please call Shelley Carter at 508-693-3554 x 115